A week in the life of Prête-Moi Paris !

Life has its ups, life has its downs, (it’s a roller coaster ride really), and there’s all that inbetween time that we stuff full of activities, writing blogs, scrolloing thousands of tweets, devouring books, chatting over wine, riding the metro to work and back, grocery shopping and oh so many more things, until life feels like one big race for time. A train chugginng at a breakneck speed down the track of an existence. Have you seen how fast it has been going lately?!? 2012?!? WTF!!!! How did we get here so fast? And why am I in my thirties already?!? LOL!

ok so, let’s ignore those questions.

I would rather recap a fun week in the life of Prête-Moi Paris, and show you how I fill my time. I was saying to someone the other day how I could hardly believe that it was already over two years that I had been writing this blog, and it has really given me the opportunity to do and see so many fun and fabulous things. And let me tell you, it certainly helps fill up all that time I keep chasing after! Although, granted, not every week is as jam-packed as last week, many of them are.

Photo by Quinntessential Style blog

In addition to my day job at Hermès, I also ran around to various events, most of them brought about because of the connections I have made and opportunities I take via the platform of this little Paris blog, and thanks to social media, like facebook and twitter, wordpress and fourquare, where the extent of a modern woman’s reach in this world is endless. I never would have met such cool and talented people nor would I be living such a full life were it not for these tools that I have put to great use.

Me and Gail of Perfectly Paris at Ô Château

Monday : After putting in a full day of work, I headed over to Ô Chateau for some wine with a big group of twitterites, most of them anglophone for the 2012 edition of the annual event organised by Pricilla of Weekend In Paris. It was great to catch up with friends I don’t get to see as often as I’d like since they like myself are also chasing after that slippery critter “time”, and meet new faces and interesting contacts, like Sofiane MOURAH of Ambiancity who’s created a fabulous business concept that I was (and am) totally enthusiastic over. It’s kitch and it’s fantastic!!! Check it out!

Tuesday : I was off from the day job and had filled my schedule with fashion shows for Couture Week in Paris. I love couture week! It’s not as much of a frenzy as prête-à-porter week, people are nicer and more champagne is served! After a morning of catching up on email, blogging and laundry, I went to see Didit Hediprasetyo‘s show at the Crillon palace hotel, thenI skipped over to Claudine Ivari’s presentation in her boutique at the Ritz hotel (which is sadly closing for 2 years to complete a total renovation of the historic building). Then I sauntered over to the 6th near Odéon to see Basil Soda‘s show at the Couvent des cordeliers. Early to the venue, I decided to grab a quick Starbucks nearby before baring through the bitter wait in the cold January rain. Fashion shows always start late! And the last event of the day was the Julien Fournié show at the Showcase club where I met up with my friend and fashion pal Quinn from Quinntessential style blog. More waiting in the rain… and then thankfully when we made it inside we were invited to sit (hallaluhia) …front row! More fashion blog posts will follow soon for the rest of these shows, I promise (just as soon as I find the TIME to write them!). Tuesday was mighty exhausting, with much running around town, dozens of metro rides, intervals of rain, and then there’s the constant umbrella obstruction, the cold and the lack of time to eat… As much fun as I had, I was glad when I crawled into bed. Yet the glass of champagne after the last show was a welcome delight! And we got our mugs shot by Runway magazine.

Runway magazine : photo by Ko Kok

Wednesday : After another full day of work, I ran over to the Shangri-La palace hotel for another couture show; this one for Eva Minge which was 55 minutes late in starting! I was glad to have a seat and chat with my pal Octave who I found next to me (Octave is afashion student and writes for Mademoiselle à Paris). After that I booked it over to my dinner invitation where Chéri and I were served a gorgeous Asian meal with chic company, just around the corner from the Elysées palace. We took a taxi home with full and happy bellies and finally turned out the lights at 2am. Aïe! The morning alarm was only a handful of hours away…

Thursday : With deepening under-eye circles, after work I headed just around the corner to meet Kasia Dietz for a wine tasting event at the new hotel with a wine bar, hôtel du Ministère near la Madeleine. Judith who runs the bar is the most wine enthusiastic person I have ever met! She threw a fun little shindig with bloggers a plenty in attendance and even a lifestyle reporter from the New York Times. We tasted some fabulous wine and won some fabulous prizes! If only this could be a weekly tradition! I stayed longer than I had anticipated I was enjoying myself so much, and I completely forgot how tired I was!

Wine tasting at the Hôtel du Ministère

Friday : After a long day at work where I got to visit the Hermès site in Pantin and observe the purchasing of the Fall/Winter 2012-2013 collections for all the different sectors, I ran over to Mademoiselle Rose to pick up my wedding shoes that had been dyed blue! And the rest of the soirée was reserved for Chéri.

Saturday : After work I was supposed to head over tot he opening of the new bakery Cake Bake in the 10th with a bunch of other Paris bloggers, but my feet just couln’t drag me there. (Is this was being in your thirties means???) I made it as far as the Tuileries bar of the Westin hotel, where Chéri and I ordered a glass of relaxation and chatted quietly in the large English leather armchairs, munched on rosmary herbed cashew nuts and let the fatigue of the week slip to the bottom of our shoes.

Sunday : Is for blogging, watching movies and if we can muster the courage, a stroll somewhere in Paris.

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Mal Aimée pas mal reçu

Mal Aimée a brand by Léonie Hostettler and Marius Borgeaud who met at design university in Geneva had their first Paris presentation at the recent Paris Fashion Week, on October 4th. Hosted at the luxury palace hotel Le Crillon, the label occupied a chandelier ornamented room on the ground floor. I was glad to see Jean Paul Cauvin present, and visiting the smaller lesser known brands in his search for the 21st century’s silhouette.

 

Marius Borgeaud and Léonie Hostettler (picture from Kevin Tachman of Vogue.com)

 

Mal Aimée served up a spread of garments with an emphasis on texture and lines, with color as a side dish. Sheer rayons, raw-weaved or embroidered wools, thicker silk pieces with elaborate stitching,beading and a mixture of different materials in single pieces was the texture palette. The lines wear a combination of body-lengthening shapes, a twist on the holed knees, elaborate pant cuffs, broad shoulders and coat tails for starters. Sweet pastels and faded denim along with fitted waistlines bring out a lot of femininity in this already lady-like line.

 

Mal Aimée, SS2011

 

 

Mal Aimée SS201

 

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I personally loved the elaborate folds on the shoulders, the tight overlay-stitching, the silk pants and the  leotard shirts. There’s a sophisticated 70’s-80’s feel to the line without pushing towards the obnoxious aspect of that era. It’s strong yet feminine.

The pair of designers worked for a couple years with Olivier Theyskens at the fashion house of Nina Ricci, before being left to fend for themselves after his departure from the label. Not without gumption the two launched their own label. This SS2011 line is the fruit of a year’s worth of constant work to create a name for themselves. They are doing it well with a sumptuous presentation at one of the most frequented spots in Paris during Fashion week. Best of luck to these two young designers and we can’t wait to see the fall-winter line!

 

Jouer à la star! – Feel like a star!

Who hasn’t ever wanted to get the star treatment? How about for free?!? During the Paris Fashion week you can.

I decided to take advantage of the offer I saw tweeted on VogueParisLive a couple days ago, who has set up their headquarters for fashion week at the Crillon hotel. There, Lancome is dolling up the press “pipole” (that’s French slang for famous people!) and the rest of us who want to play dress up too. And we did. I took a friend with me and we skipped over in our fashionable best, she in a black JPG dress and a long coral Lacroix coat, I in a plum Grazia Bagnaresi dress and Louboutin shoes (swoon!), and waltzed into the palace hotel as if we belonged…. but of course!

To locate the room where Lancome has its make-up stations installed, we had to pass through the VogueParisLive “éphémère” bar (a lovely word for temporary in French), where they have flat screens for viewing the fashion shows live as they roll, and to catch their minute by minute tweets of the who’s who in the Parisian fashion world. (i.e. VogueParisLive Carine Roitfeld: “a military show at Junya Watanabe, that we would like to see in stores already, and a desert camouflage make-up #PFW ) So far it has been a huge hit! On opening night of fahsion week here in paris, they were expecting 250 people to come, they got 500! I have no idea where they put them all! I certainly didn’t see enough plush red velvet divans for 500. It seems there is no need for an invitation, so show up if you dare!

We found the rooms where the make-up magic happens, and the whole time I was expecting to see a line of women waiting for their turn. Guess what? There was not a stocking-wearing, high-heeled-bearing, hairspray-scaring soul to be found! We entered the room, which looked sparkling and fresh, and was surprisingly quiet and peaceful, as if they had been waiting just for us, merci beaucoup! Not at all what I had prepared myself for. Three gracious make-up artists greeted us, and we had our choice of the empty mirrors. Perched on the white and chrome stools, our vision was graced with a view of the charming courtyard below. Talk turned to make-up, fashion, careers and our afternoon activity (a concert at the Salle Pleyel) as the artists turned us into divas with their brushes, powders and palettes all lined perfectly in rows on their counters. With Enya playing on the stereo, fresh flowers scattered in vases and Beata Rosinska my make-up artiste delicately bringing my face to life, I couldn’t have felt more like a star than if I were one.

A quick refreshment in the Salon at the Crillon, and it’s off the the theater chéri! Oh là là!

Lancome Paris will do your make-up for free at the Hotel Crillon in Paris at la place de la Concorde, March 4th to the 10th, from 11:00am to 8:00pm according to availability of the make-up artists. Rooms 41 & 43. Tell Beata “bonjour” for me!

(Beata Rosinska was hired by Lancome Paris for the occasion, but is a free-lance make-up artist. She can be contacted via her website : http://www.babybuzia.com or her email : babybuzia@hotmail.com ; Beata Rosinska était embauchée par Lancôme Paris pour l’évènement, mais est une artiste free-lance. elle peut être contactée sur son site web : http://www.babybuzia.com ou via son adresse courriel : babybuzia@hotmail.com )